One Liners: IM Etiquette

Instant messenging can be a great way to open up a dialogue. Some people however, treat it like their personal PA system.

Periodically they take off their away message (or sign in) and send out a few brief messages like these:

“Mark, if you want to hang out tonight call me.”

“Send me your status report ASAP.”

Then they are away again. If you are this person think twice, and maybe get a Twitter account.

When Not to Video Chat

Video chat can be a great tool for communications.  There are also a few times when it can be a bad idea.  Here are some of those times.

  • When you are sick, or have not properly groomed.
  • When you are upset.  Your face could end up betraying more then you meant to say.
  • When your chat partner has not agreed to video chat.

Always use good judgment before you click on video chat.

How to Look Good on Your Video IM

Using a video chat is a lot like going on TV.  If you want to look good you may have to take a few extra steps:

  1. Avoid glossy things.  This includes high gloss lipstick, glittery items and polarized sunglasses.
  2. Balance the proportions on the top half of your body.  A wide shouldered jacket may mask big hips, but no one will see them on the screen.
  3. Smile, it always helps!

Business IM’s and Friend List Population

Adding friends to your business instant messenger is a little different then it is with your personal messenger.  When you are dealing with your business messenger there are some questions you should ask yourself before you add on a new contact.

  • Is my relationship with this person professional?
  • Will we talk about business issues or personal ones?
  • How likely am I to work directly with this person on a project in the future?

If you can not give the right reason for adding, then don’t.

Instant Messages and Instant Gratification

There is little doubt that we live in a culture of instant gratification.  We all want things, and we want them now.  Going to the video store is lengthy, but downloading on iTunes can take a fraction of that time (and, as a bonus, you can do something else during that download).  Instant messengers give us the same ability for communications.  The question is, do we benefit from it?

Sure, somethings are truly urgent and demand an immediate response.  (Will you marry me?, Did you run over my dog? And, Can you feel this drilling in your mouth?, all being amongst them.)

Other however require thought to give a proper answer.  Trying to fit them into an instant gratification model just won’t do.  What is needed here is temperance and good judgement.  Practice those traits when looking for a quick fix answer.

Downloading Instant Messengers: Beware Bad Sites

When you get your instant messenger from a 3rd party site, then you need to be sure that they have what you need.  You also have to be sure that you will not be getting any nasty surprises along with the new software.

If you want to keep your system safe always evaluate a download site before you click on the link.  Also, just to be on the safe side always use your virus scans when you install a new piece of software.  It is better to catch a problem early if you can.

Why should you switch from Jabber to Brosix?

If you’re a Mac user then whenever you see a new instant messenger tool, the odds are that you compare it to Jabber. It may not be a conscious comparison, but it is there. After all, why should you give up managing multiple contact lists in favor of 1 IM client? You are in search of a good reason. How about 3.

Reason One: Simplicity

If you do not have to manage 6 IM’s buddy lists (when was the last time you cleaned those out?) you will be less distracted. That means more time to devote to the people you actually want to communicate with.

Reason Two: Features

Features like file share, white board and audio chat without having to switch back and forth is very enticing.

Reason Three: Because you don’t have to switch

That’s right, you don’t. You can use Brosix for business and Jabber to play.

Food for thought.

What is an enterprise instant messenger client anyway?

The phrase “Enterprise instant messenger client” is one that you may have heard before as a matter of fact if you read the site at all, the odds are you have been exposed to it at every turn, but what does it really mean?

Well, on a basic level an enterprise IM client is an IM special formulated for the needs of business IT is integratable into existing systems and completely securable.

Why?  To allow you, and your staff the ability to share data in real time speed without breaking security.

Thing about the possibilities there.

Keeping Your IM Client Neat and Tidy

Instant messengers tend to be one of those technological advances that gets clogged up quickly.  That is because adding new contacts is an incredibly easy thing to do.  On most services it is merely a matter of one or two clicks.  If you went down your IM buddy list would you find any of these?

  • Old classmates you don’t need to share projects information with anymore.
  • Co-workers that you no longer collaborate with and don’t have any personal affinity for.
  • That cool guy you met in a chat room, and had a conversation with 3 years ago.
  • Unfriendly exec’s, or any of their friends.
  • Screen names that you just flat out don’t know who they belong to anymore.

How do you fix it?  Why with a simple cleaning session.  Get to your contact management screen.  Now ask your self two questions.

    1. Have I talked to this person in the last 12 months.
    2. Is it likely, I will talk to them again?

If you answer both with a no, delete it.